BOTTOMS UP AT BURTON

This weekend, after our various Cup adventures, Charlton return to League duties with a game against bottom club Burton on an away day trip that will hopefully give us cause for a few cheers rather than another reason to drown our sorrows.

Charlton might have had an up and down season but for lowly Burton Albion, this season has been very much a story of struggles at the wrong end of the table. The Brewers, as they are nicknamed, find themselves at the foot of League One after seventeen games with just twelve points to their name. Already they have slipped five behind Accrington Stanley (whoever they are) presently sitting just outside the bottom four.

For us, a recent burst of good form has lifted us well-clear of the relegation mire. Though quite far adrift of the top two, we're now positioned in ninth place, just outside of the play-off places. A win against Burton would very definitely consolidate our promotion push and pique fans' interest at a time when the World Cup threatens to steal attention from the league.

But at the same time, Burton will be no pushover. This is our third consecutive November visit to Burton and our record on those travels reads as a 4-2 defeat in 2020 and a 1-0 victory in 2021. Maybe that puts them 4-3 up on aggregate!

Speaking of actual aggregates, Burton's biggest claim to fame in recent times was a prize that we have our eyes on at present. Back in 2018-19, when also in League One, they reached the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. There, they suffered a 9-0 defeat at The Etihad against Manchester City but held them to a single goal scored in the second leg, going down 10-0 on aggregate.

Hopefully we can travel as far in our League Cup adventures without suffering as much of a semi-final headache. It's probably best to keep the headaches limited to the hangover after Saturday's celebrations testing out the breweries of Burton! But despite their lowly position they won't provide such easy opposition.

Worryingly too we always seem to fare worse against the bottom sides, with Forest Green and MK Dons providing proof of that pudding. Amongst their ranks they also have a fairly prolific ex-Charlton man, Victor Adeboyejo who has been finding the net regularly this season, considering the team's position in the league table.

We underestimate our bottom-of-the-table rivals at our peril then, but the form we're in and the bounce that Tuesday night's League Cup win should give us will hopefully see us capturing all three points on Saturday. Maybe this is turning out to be the season when we emulate our hosts and write a League Cup story of our own - but one with a happier ending.